The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series Eastern Regional Championships will take place from June 27-July 2 in Barboursville, WV. Leading up to the event, EDP will be profiling several of the qualified teams and looking at their journey to this point. The next team featured in the “Road to Regionals” series is Lehigh Valley United 2002 Boys Black (PA-E), which earned its Regionals berth through its performance in the US Youth Soccer National League EDP Mid Atlantic Premier I Conference.
Lehigh Valley United 2002 Boys Black has perennially been one of the top teams in the Mid Atlantic region. And the 2018-19 season was no exception. LVU Black led the US Youth Soccer National League EDP Mid Atlantic Premier I Conference in both goals scored (37) and goals against (4) en route to a perfect 9-0-0 record.
“The National League is one of the highest levels of club soccer in this country and has been great for player development,” Head Coach Dean Koski noted. “Our team is representative of all the top players in the Lehigh Valley, so they all compete against each other during the high school season.”
Those players include the dynamic forward tandem of Kresstoph Whittick and Austin Recions, who ranked first and second on the team in scoring. Center back Nikhil Matre anchors the defense, while Blake Koski has been solid in goal.
In addition to going undefeated in the National League Conference, LVU Black earned a 4-1 victory over Arlington—the 2018 National Champions—at the National League EDP Conferences Showcase. The team also performed well in tournament play, but has fallen just short of winning any championships. Which only serves as motivation heading into Regionals.
“We have not fulfilled all our goals,” Koski said. “We wanted to win the league, get to Regionals and qualify for the National League (next season). Now we want to win Regionals.”
And for LVU Black, it’ll be a return trip to Regionals. Last year as 16U’s, the team finished second in its group, winning a pair of games before falling to a BC United 2002 Select (NY-W) side that advanced to the championship match. That experience has LVU Black poised for a deeper run in 2019.
Founded in 1999, Elite Development Program Soccer (EDP) is one of the largest organizers of youth soccer leagues and tournaments in the U.S. EDP operates youth leagues for boys and girls ages 9-19, conducts a Futures program for players ages 7-11, and operates U20/23 men’s and women’s leagues. EDP also runs over 20 tournaments each year. One of the major priorities of EDP’s leagues and tournaments is to enable soccer players to reach their full potential, with an emphasis on attending college. More than 3,500 teams participate in EDP’s leagues and more than 170,000 players compete in EDP tournaments annually. For more information on EDP, visit www.edpsoccer.com.